Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Gluten-Free Goes To The County Fair

Every year, James and I enjoy the down-home ambiance of our San Mateo County Fair. We realize, as James says, that Maker Faire, filling the same venue, is probably more representative of what our county currently produces. But the quilts and goats and gardens all deserve our attention too. So does the food.

This year I took a deep breath and entered the culinary competition. In category "Other." There is no category for gluten-free or special diets. My hope is not to win anything other than recognition for the need for a "special diet" category. Let's face it, carob brownies aren't going to beat out real chocolate in a blind tasting. But on their own, they are a yummy treat, especially for someone who reacts severely to chocolate.

I'm taking four of what have become my "old reliables", with the various accommodations I make cooking for James. My point, as always, is that whatever your food restrictions are, you can find ways to eat well at home or while dining out or with friends.

CA - 232 - Quick Breads Class: 06
Description: Wheat-free: Rustic Seed Bread (no wheat flour or cows milk)
Recipe from The Wheat-Free Cook by Jacqueline Mallorca, substituting goat yogurt for cows.

CA - 233 - Cookies Class: 05
Description: Wheat-Free Barley Carob Brownies
The recipe from the back of Bob's Red Mill barley flour, substituting their excellent carob powder for the cocoa powder.

CA - 237 - Cakes Other Than Layer Class: 03
Description: Cholesterol-free, wheat-free torte made with walnuts, carob, liquid egg substitute, and sugar.
My version of Jacqueline Mallorca's "Four-Ingredient Chocolate-Walnut Cake" made using Bob's Red Mill carob powder for the natural cocoa powder.

CA - 237 - Cakes Other Than Layer Class: 05
Description: Walnut-olive oil sponge cake: no cholesterol, no wheat flour
Jacqueline Mallorca's version calls for zest of an orange. Since James is allergic to citrus, I add some powdered or chopped ginger -- Trader Joe has an unsugared version I like.

It's all rather exciting, made even more so when the entries are to be submitted between 7-9 this Thursday morning. Luckily these all hold well, because most of them are getting made Wednesday evening. There will be take-out salads for dinner, and many leftover desserts for us -- regulations call for half a cake or loaf.

Do support your local county fair, wherever you are!

2 comments:

D. G. said...

Woohoo! My "Cakes Other Than Layer" took first and third place! (Carob-Walnut Torte first and Walnut-Olive Oil Sponge third.) I'm still amazed since there were other entries, and this was in competition with "normals." Backs up my ongoing claim, you can take these pups anywhere without apology. And that Jacqueline Mallorca is a cookbook goddess!

nogitsunegirl said...

I'm showing your post to a friend who was recently diagnosed with celiac problems associated with eating wheat gluten. She's been trying to find good recipes that are, as you say, able to go places without apology.